Plasmons can be thought of as waves of electrons in a metal surface. More specifically, plasmons are charge density oscillations in a metal or other conductive materials. A light incident on a metal surface can generate plasmons similar to how wind incident on water can generate waves. Light can create plasmons, and the oscillating charges of plasmons can also generate light. The plasmonic-optical interactions give rise to interesting physics at the nanoscale. See also: What is a Plasmon?

Nano-optics or nanophotonics is the study of light on the nanoscale. Typically visible light is limited by the diffraction limit and cannot be focused down to sizes smaller that about half the wavelength of visible light, less than hundreds of nanometers. Nano-optics deals with ways to overcome this diffraction limit in order to manipulate light at scales that are smaller than 100 nm. Plasmonics is one area of nano-optics. Plasmonic nanostructures can focus light to regions that can be less than 10 nm! Additionally, focusing light to such a small, highly-localized volume also generate extremely large optical enhancements in this nanoscale region. These enhancements can be used for applications including single molecule detectors [1], enhanced spectroscopies [2], cancer treatment [3], and more efficient solar cells [4].

Herzog Plasmonic Nano Optics Lab

Research in the Herzog Plasmonic Nano Optics Lab consists of: See here for more information on these Research Projects and Areas.

Interested in being part of the research group? See How to join the Herzog Lab.


Sept 18, 2018 - Chris's work has been accepted for publication - Chris Klenke, an undergraduate student working in the Herzog Group during summer 2018, has recently published his work while he was a participant in the National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) through the microEP program at the University of Arkansas. The work titled Dataset for SERS Plasmonic Array: Width, Spacing, and Thin Film Oxide Thickness Optimization was published in Data.


Aug 20, 2018 - Dr. Herzog officially starts new position at the University of Indianapolis - Dr. Herzog has been given an amazing opportunity to be part of the new R.B. Annis School of Engineering at the University of Indianapolis. While he will miss his colleagues at the University of Arkansas, he is excited to be part of the UIndy community!


Aug 17, 2018 - Tobi presents his work at SPIE O+P 2018 and receives award - Oluwatobi Tobi Olorunsola, a member of the Herzog Group from Jan - Aug 2018, presented work from the lab at the 2018 SPIE Optics + Photonics conference. A proceeding article on his talk titled Localized surface plasmons on periodic monolayer black phosphorene nanoribbons tuned in the infrared region with a dielectric substrate has been published online. While at the conference Tobi was also awarded the MKS Instruments Research Excellence Travel Award; see UARK press release here. Tobi along with Abayomi Omolewu, the current president of the SPIE Arkansas Laserbacks Student Chapter, attended the Student Leadership Workshop before the conference.

Abayomi Omolewu, left, and Oluwatobi Tobi Olorunsola.


Aug 10, 2018 - Desalegn passed dissertation defense! - Congrats to Desalegn on his hard work! He has passed his dissertation defiense! One big step closer to obtaining his PhD. Cheers and well done! You deserve it!

Principal Investigator
Joseph B. Herzog, PhD
Assistant Professor
R.B. Annis School of Engineering
University of Indianapolis

Full Bio

New UINDY Email: herzogjb
Old UARK Email: jbherzog
UARK Lab: PHYS 106
UARK Lab Phone: 5-6178

Department of Physics  |  226 Physics Building  |  825 West Dickson Street  |  Fayetteville, AR 72701
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